CASA of Oklahoma County’s thorough training process provides the volunteer with in-depth information about the courts and case dynamics. Training takes place in a classroom setting and lasts for eight weeks. Please contact our Recruitment Director for more information on our training options. Day sessions take place on Thursdays from 11 AM – 2 PM each week and night sessions take place on Tuesdays from 5:30 – 8:30 PM each week.
2020 Training Schedule
• Tuesday (Night) Cycle B: 4/7/2020-5/26/2020
• Tuesday (Night) Cycle C: 6/2/2020-7/21/2020
• Thursday (Day) Cycle B: 6/4/2020-7/23/2020
After becoming a volunteer, additional training is required annually in compliance with national standard. In-service formal training is available quarterly to help volunteers meet the twelve hours of continuing education annually. This is a great way for practicing advocate volunteers to keep their basic skills sharp and to provide a more in-depth study of critical issues relating to child abuse and neglect. In-service and other trainings can be found on our calendar.
National CASA standards state that new volunteers must complete 30 hours of pre-service training before being sworn in as an officer of the court. This training consists of:
- 24 hours of training in a classroom environment
- 3 hours of court observation, and
- 3 hours of independent reading.
The 24 hours of training is broken down into 3-hour classes taught weekly. Each class explores a different chapter of the CASA pre-service curriculum:
- Chapter 1: Introducing the CASA Volunteer Role and the Child Welfare System
- Chapter 2: Child Development and Child Abuse and Neglect
- Chapter 3: Trauma, Resilience and Communication
- Chapter 4: Mental Illness, Poverty and Professionalism
- Chapter 5: Substance Abuse and Cultural Competency
- Chapter 6: Domestic Violence and Cultural Competency
- Chapter 7: Educational Advocacy, Older Youth, and LGBTQ Youth
- Chapter 8: Wrapping up
These classes consist of discussion, individual activities, and group activities with videos, debates, and reading to complement the adult learning experience. Apart from chapters one and two, each class also includes a case study which is based on real-world situations that provide new volunteers with opportunities to help them understand what it’s like to advocate for children in the child welfare system.
Court observation gives these new volunteers an opportunity to sit in on actual court hearings that take place in Oklahoma County. Volunteers witness what a hearing may look like when it is their time to attend one for their own CASA child.
At least a week before each class, the volunteer is emailed pre-work that they are expected to review prior to coming to the next class. The pre-work consists primarily of reading so that, during class, rich discussion can take place on topics like substance abuse statistics, or resources available for LGBTQ youth. In addition to reading, the volunteer may be asked to do some independent research like the poverty guidelines for families in Oklahoma.